: ON - Ottawa, Vanier, Gloucester, Orleans - OTA
2011-01-27, 01:37 PM
I'm currently contemplating going OTA and cutting rogers. I live in a townhouse in Orleans and I'm not sure what the regulations are with regards to mounting anything on the roof/garage. I've been looking at some indoor antennas (Terk omnidirectional, Terk directional, Zenith SS) as a potential antenna. I was wondering if there's anyone in Orleans with experience with indoor antennas and expected results. I suspect that I would be placing the antenna about 6 feet off the floor so maybe a total of 8 feet in the air and I would have the possibility of placing it in windows (I don't know it's orientation yet).
I think If I can get CTV, Global and CityTV - that would be enough for me to take the plunge and get rid of cable. Here's my tvfool
Based on that, can you guys offer any recommendations and/or comments?
2011-01-27, 04:00 PM
I just discovered this fourm and joined as I'm interested in getting rid of my cable & trying OTA.
My TV fool page is here:
I am wondering what I would require antenna wise for OTA. I can install an antenna on my roof. No building interference around me. This seems to be the best option for maximum coverage. I would like to pick up the US channels as well if possible.
Welcome to the forum. Please read the OTA FAQ & Knowledge Base to get up-to-speed on the basics of Over-the-Air TV and antennas.
But before you make any mistakes, don't go an order that magic antenna. There is an ad for it on this web site -- an annoying thing for anyone who knows about antennas. It's overpromising. With that antenna you'd be lucky to get all the Ottawa stations. You'll learn from the OTA Knowledge Base that there's really no such thing as a 150 mile antenna.
If you want the American networks you'll probably have to do what the others in this this thread have done -- full sized antennas capbable of pulling in high-vhf (channel 7) and a good UHF antenna. Later this year, Global will go HD on Channel 6 which might require you to have a low-vhf antenna. You're lucky that you found this forum before you have bought anything. You can do it right the first time.
Maybe you could re-do your TV Fool using your exact address and edit your first post with the new link. The address won't show.
2011-01-28, 01:30 PM
Thanks you for the reply! I updated my TV Fool:
I was not able to change it in my original post. (likely because I am on 'newbie probation')
Yes, I have a lot of reading ahead of me & I am happy to have found this fourm!
2011-01-29, 09:33 AM
You live not too far from me. The interesting piece in my set up is that I (and so are you) am exactly between the two Ottawa towers. I have a modified CM4221 on the roof and I get everything there is from Ottawa towers (no US channels) I have stopped fussing about analogue quality though it isn't perfect. Channel 66 digital is just OK for me so I wouldn't go anything less than that antenna. I'm not amplifying anything at the moment but thinking about it as transition to digital approaches. On paper it looks like you have a slightly better chance at WCFE or WNPI than I have (You are higher up) but as HWP has said - serious antenna work!!!
2011-01-29, 09:41 AM
another great thing about this forum is that you get to learn from the mistakes of those who went before you. Don't buy a clone antenna... they just don't work as well as the real thing.
2011-01-29, 09:59 AM
Stephg If it's your garage / roof there are no regulations to stop you putting up a typical antenna - but there safety rules about how and where it should be done. Check the OTA FAQ
2011-01-31, 02:07 PM
Thanks to all for you suggestions for my problem. I did over 20 trips up and down the ladders(2) to tries all the scenarios and see what looks best for me (flavoie, I think I should have bought a rotor to save on these up/down trips).
I received my CM-7777 pre-amp from my friend out west. So I installed it first. I thought that by unplugging it from the wall would give me the non-amp reception, but no, I would have had to reconnect the cable upstairs, so I went ahead with pre-amp test only.
Here are my results - note that although it was suggested that the UHF part of my antenna (CM-3671) should be facing toward the transmitting station like a satellite dish, I found I had better luck the other way( away from the station). So the orientation of the antenna is for the opening of the UHF pointing -degrees in brackets (+-5deg).
test # UHF opening cbc(4) src(9) ctv(13A) city(17) sun(20)
1 N (360) 77 97 no 64 87
2 S (180) 76 73 no 0 76
3 toward CF (094) 46 83 no 0 0
4 away from CF (274) 72 0 OK 60 74
5 toward HC(145) 73 72 Ok 0 75
6 away from HC (325) 90 88 OK 63 96
7 15 deg off #6 (340) 91 91 soso 0 95
I listed stations that I am interested in for reference. But I was never getting Global or OMNI. I am starting to beleive that there might be a topographical feature toward HC's OMNI antenna. For global, I could be Mount King as suggested.
In conclusion, the pre-amp did not give me much of what I had which was about #1 before - I settled to the position of #6 - which give me 13A CTV - for my wife to watch her Grace Anatomy and my Survivor/Amazing race.Because of that, I will keep it, at least until CTV goes digital. Anyone knows when this will happen in Ottawa?
I thing I also noticed is that a few degrees, say betwenn #6 andf #7 make me loose CITY and CTV. Perhaps a rotor would help me get a much better alignment????
My next step is to add about 6ft to the antenna - I do not want to deal with guy wires, so I will only go this high. Will that make a difference?
I am not considering an extra antenna at this time, at least not until spring - after I cut the trees on my property line and see what I get for reception.
thank you all for your help and suggestions.
2011-01-31, 10:41 PM
Lots of good stuff is in the FAQ and from your TV fool there's sure to be an antenna set-up to get you all the local digital channels.
here's where I would start:
Check your TV has an ATSC tuner (google or check the manual)
If so, plug rabbit ears in
run the channel search
There's a good chance you'll get at least one or two digital channels
2011-02-03, 07:14 AM
Can someone give me their guess why I am getting CITY from HC but none of the OMNI digital channels? is it because they are lower on the totem pole? Is it because the freq is higher?
2011-02-09, 10:20 PM
I want my 2 TVs and a myth box connected to one antenna. With 1 TV connected (no splitters), everything was fine. With a splitter and a second TV, channel 66 drops out from time to time on the original set and I can't get a lock on the second TV. Add a second splitter and neither TV#2 or the myth box get a lock on 66 (both take longer to lock on everything else). I'm only really focussing on getting digital stations well right now - but including a solution that should work post transition.
I am assuming that I don't have enough of a signal to split so many times. My TV fool is in my profile. I am using a roof-mounted, hacked CM4221HD with no reflector, picking up CF from the front and HC from the back.
Question is - what to do? A pre amp? or a higher gain antenna? Any advice? More tests to do? Thanks for any ideas
With a roof-mounted antenna in the middle of winter? I'd consider the Kitztech KT100-VG low-noise amp mounted indoors at ground level wherever your splitters are.
It will recover your problem channels and solidify everything else and you don't have to go up on your roof.
2011-02-10, 12:05 AM
Duchaine, could it be because you have the antenna pointed 180 degrees vs what it should be ?
2011-02-10, 12:11 AM
Werryner, yes a preamp would definitely help, even indoors in the short term. Pick one you can later install near the antenna, and just place it indoors until spring. I used my cm7777 indoors for testing and it was helping out great for locals
2011-02-10, 08:37 AM
flavoie, I am realy not sure. The rought data I got shows the opposite: I do get better reception with the opening facing away. Perhaps it is a local effect or something else.
In any case, I have ordered a rotor that I hope to install this weekend. That way, I should be able to maximize my reception. I will repost my results.
(BTW, I am also adding 6' to the antenna. I might be getting multipath from my slightly higher roof. I have only 3ft clearance so far-for a more secured installation, I attached my tripod to the edge of that roof-).
flavoie - I have not yet grounded my antenna which I plan to do this weekend. I will run a copper cable from the antenna to the house's external electrical ground post. However, I am not clear about runing a ground block for the coax cable. Can I ground this block to the same copper wire or do I have to install an independant wire?
2011-02-10, 03:56 PM
duchaine, for your rotor, make sure you keep it close to your big antenna. You'll notice your rotor will specify a max distance from the antenna of something like 3 feet max.
There's a grounding thread for grounding questions, but here's my personal experience.
I reused the grounding wire wherever i needed a combined long run, but for shorter runs to the grounding rod, I used separate cables.
My main roof antenna has a grounding wire going all the way down to the grounding rod. My attic antenna coax cable surge arrestor/grounding block combo unit's ground screw (which is about at soffit level) has a short grouding wire of the same gauge that connects to the long main grounding wire using a split bolt about at soffit level.
Where my coax enters the house at a 2nd coax cable surge arrestor/grounding block combo unit, i am quite close to the grounding rod. So I made a separate cable connecting to the grounding rod on its own.
2011-02-10, 04:01 PM
duchaine, you should consider a surge arrestor for your coax run before it enters the house in addition with the grounding block. Some units are combo which includes both all in one. What i bought was called a "Low loss surge arrestor and grounding block".
2011-02-15, 04:14 PM
where did you get the grounding unit? all I could fine is the little coax block with F connectors. It does not look very sturdy.
I installed my rotor last weekend and an extension to my post so that the antenna is now 10ft from the roof (it was only 3 ft before)- the max without guyed wires.
I have not had time to do test, but it seems that I am getting a number of extra stations.- at least analogue. Will post the results.
I am planning to do my grounding in the spring, running a independant rod for the antenna.
2011-02-15, 04:50 PM
duchaine, I got my low loss surge arrestor/grounding block from an Ottawa local dealer, along with many other things. Check this shopping thread post (and the whole thread if you want) for details and more about local Ontario/Ottawa availability of OTA items:
2011-02-15, 06:29 PM
duchaine, also see the Grounding Info & Standards: OTA/Dish/CATV/Telecom (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=62265) thread for everything you could ever need to know about that topic from experienced electricians and installers. :) If you have any questions about grounding please post them in there.